Tag Archives: History

Fourth of July History

Fourth of July History

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States, and for good reason—Independence Day celebrates the day the original 13 colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. While that’s the gist of it, there’s more Fourth of July history to be told. Here are a few more facts from us here at Blackburn Nissan.

The initial battles of the American Revolution began in April 1775, but few colonists wanted an all-out war with the world’s greatest power of the age. Taxation with representation drove more and more colonists to change their view and, by July 1776, the scales tipped.

While the Fourth of July was official made a federal holiday in 1941, its roots are found in the late 1700s during the American Revolution. On July 2, 1772, the Continental Congress voted to declare independence. The Declaration was drafted two days, on July 4, by Thomas Jefferson, unofficially marking the early days of the United States of America.

Prior to the war, annual celebrations had taken place on the king’s birthday. Following the war, some colonists chose instead to hold mock funerals for their defeated king. Festivities, such as concerts, parades, and public readings of the Declaration of Independence, took place as well. Many of those traditions continue to this day. Cities around the country hold parades and concerts as well as fireworks displays each Fourth of July.

The History of Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day
Happy Labor Day from Blackburn Nissan!

What do you associate with Labor Day? No school? Three-day weekend? Barbecues? The end of summer? Pool closings? Technically, all of those are correct, but there’s more to Labor Day weekend than just being able to sleep in.

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day was created to recognize the efforts and contributions of American workers during the Industrial Revolution, a time when working conditions had few regulations and American workers were often overworked and underpaid from a young age and in unsafe conditions.

The history of Labor Day began when it was celebrated on September 5th in 1882, when 10,000 workers in New York City marched from City Hall to Union Square in the first-ever Labor Day Parade. The idea of the holiday caught on afterward and spread across the country like wildfire. The holiday known as Labor Day was nationally recognized by Congress 12 years later following a major wage strike in Chicago.

Credit for the idea behind Labor Day is given two men–Peter J. McGuire, who co-founded the American Federation of Labor, and a secretary of the Central Labor Union named Matthew McGuire. Either way, the brave workers who fought for their rights during the late 1800s and early 1900s are yours to thank for your relaxing Labor Day weekend.

History of the Chicago Auto Show

Downtown Chicago
The home of the Chicago Auto Show!

The Chicago Auto Show was first held in March 1901 inside the Coliseum exposition hall. The ticket price was 50 cents for the general public. The event was held at the Coliseum for 35 consecutive showings. Starting in 1935—the 36th show—the Chicago Auto Show moved to the International Amphitheatre. Samuel Miles, known as the Father of the modern auto show, served as show manager from the show’s inception to 1932. A wooden track allowed the public to drive and dispelled worry about the “horseless carriages.” Occasionally, one of the cars would break off the track and crash.

The 1940s eventually rolled around. This time, costumed entertainers appeared during the Dame Fashion stage show. The ‘Dame’ wore a skirt 16 feet wide which concealed new cars. When a new car was ready to be unveiled, the ‘skirt’ opened and the car drove out. A Nationality Queen contest embraced Chicago’s “melting pot” likeness as well.

After the United States’ involvement in World War II, the first official car show was held in 1950—the 42nd Chicago Auto Show. It was titled “Wheels of Freedom,” ran for nine days, and brought in 478,000 visitors.

Each decade, more changes were seen at the event. More cars, new models, and more visitors all arrived in the 60s. In the 1970s, small cars became trendy and stole the show. In 1980, the floor space expanded to 600,000 square feet and 700 vehicles filled the area. The 72nd Chicago Auto Show took place in 1980, drawing in 946,215 visitors. Numbers grew throughout the decade. More next-generation cars and concepts made their debut in the 1990s.

At the turn of the century, Mayor Richard. M. Daley stated that nothing had shaped the 1900s more than the automobile. In 2010 we saw many of the predecessors and first generation models we can still see on roadways today.

This year, 2015, marks the 107th Chicago Auto Show. Floor space has expanded to over a million square feet at the McCormick Place. 107 years later, the hype, excitement, and awe inspired by the Chicago Auto show is still in the air. We at Blackburn Nissan are excited to see what models we’ll soon have in our showroom.

If you’re interested learning more about the history of the Chicago Auto Show, read about it on the event’s website.